Tag: space force

Trump Leaves a Lasting Mark on Space

Article by Miriam Kramer                                           December 15, 2020                                         (axios.com)

• President Trump put the American space program front-and-center during his tenure. Building upon years of work by the space industry, the Trump administration helped open up new commercial opportunities in orbit. But some question whether those gains are sustainable in the long term.

• “I think the space program is in better shape now than it was when he took office,” says John Logsdon, the founder of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. Trump consistently prioritized NASA funding in his budget proposals and relaunched the National Space Council which holds agencies accountable for their work with space. His administration extended the reach of commercial partnerships in space, outsourcing that work to private companies in a trend that is likely to continue far into the future. And Trump created Space Force.

• Most of the criticism of Trump’s space policy is due to the political rhetoric accompanying them rather than the substance. Trump consistently politicized NASA’s wins, claiming credit for the Obama and Bush-era policies, and framing NASA’s accomplishments as ways to “make America great again,” Logsdon said. That has put off some space allies, including Russia, which has yet to sign on to NASA’s Artemis Accords’ plans for the exploration of the Moon.

• The Trump administration moved the ball forward for the US space enterprise, to be sure. But credit also goes to those in the space industry who went before and did years of ground work. Commercializing space with private rockets and spacecraft has taken time and funding from a number of previous administrations. The Space Force was an idea long before Trump took office.

• Some experts are also concerned that some of the progress made in commercializing space may not be sustainable. Landing people on the Moon is an entirely new level of difficulty for any private company. Some lawmakers have expressed concerns about whether a human lander built by private companies would be as safe as one built by NASA. And the market for space services may be limited to government customers, at least for the foreseeable future, as the private market for those kinds of missions isn’t clear.

• Biden will need to decide what his administration will build on when it comes to Trump’s space policies. Some suggest the new administration should continue with the Artemis Moon missions, commercial opportunities, and Space Force while changing the rhetoric around space accomplishments.

 

President Trump put the American space program front-and-center during his tenure, defining priorities in orbit and beyond that will outlast his four years as president.

The big picture: The Trump administration helped open up new commercial opportunities in orbit, building on years of work by the space industry. But some question whether those gains are sustainable in the long term.

What’s happening: “I think the space program is in better shape now than it was when he took office,” John Logsdon, the founder of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, told me.

• Trump consistently prioritized NASA funding in his budget proposals and relaunched the National Space Council, which aims to hold agencies accountable for their work with space.
• The Trump administration also extended the reach of commercial partnerships in space. Instead of NASA building a human-rated lunar lander, for example, the agency is outsourcing that work to private companies in a trend that is likely to continue far into the future.
• “[Space] may be one of the least controversial areas of his legacy,” Michael Gleason of the Aerospace Corporation told me.
• And perhaps his biggest move was standing up the U.S. Space Force.
“While some of the Trump administration’s space policy decisions and initiatives have generated criticism, that is more due to the political rhetoric accompanying them than the substance.”
— The Secure World Foundation, in a briefing document

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Trump Administration’s ‘National Space Policy’ and Space Force’s Role

Article by Sandra Erwin                                       December 9, 2020                                         (spacenews.com)

• On December 9th, the Trump administration released a new National Space Policy to replace the previous version issued by the Obama administration in 2010. The new policy “highlights the Department of Defense as a key agency in implementing and achieving the nation’s goals in this important domain,” with the US Space Force as the vanguard.

• The policy states that the Space Force is responsible for “defending the use of space for US national security purposes. This includes protecting and preserving lines of communication that are open, safe and secure in the space domain”. The service will also “deter adversaries and other actors from conducting activities that may threaten the peaceful use of space by the United States, its allies and partners; while compelling and imposing costs on adversaries to cease behaviors threatening that peaceful use.”

• Gen. John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, said the national space policy “guides the efforts of the United States Space Force as we continue to deliver capabilities and forces in defense of our nation’s interests in space.”

• Christopher Miller, Acting Secretary of Defense, said, “Over the last year we have established the necessary organizations to ensure we can deter hostilities, demonstrate responsible behaviors, defeat aggression and protect the interests of the United States and our allies.”

 

  President Trump and Gen. John Raymond

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration released a new national space policy Dec. 9 that articulates U.S. goals in civil space exploration, commercial growth and national security. The document recognizes the U.S. Space Force as the primary organization responsible for defending the nation’s interests in space.

The previous version of the national space policy was issued by the Obama administration in 2010.

The Pentagon in a statement said the new policy document “highlights the Department of Defense as a

                    Christopher Miller

key agency in implementing and achieving the nation’s goals in this important domain.”

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said: “Over the last year we have established the necessary organizations to ensure we can deter hostilities, demonstrate responsible behaviors, defeat aggression and protect the interests of the United States and our allies.”

The policy states that the Space Force, which was established in December 2019, is responsible for “defending the use of space for U.S. national security purposes. This includes protecting and preserving lines of communication that are open, safe and secure in the space domain. The service also will “deter adversaries and other actors from conducting activities that may threaten the peaceful use of space by the United States, its allies and partners; while compelling and imposing costs on adversaries to cease behaviors threatening that peaceful use.”

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China vs the US and the Risks of a Space Rivalry

Article by Sarah Zheng                                    November 29, 2020                                (scmp.com)

• The recent voyage of China’s Chang’e 5 lunar spacecraft to bring Moon samples back to Earth was more than a signal of China’s ambitions to US military officials. To Space Force General John Raymond it represented a threat that China and Russia pose to American access to space. “The two countries seek to stop US access to space, Raymond posted on the DoD website. “[T]hey are developing capabilities that would negate the US advantage.” Raymond is calling for the US to work more closely with its allies, to “stay ahead of the growing threat.”

• Raymond’s approach would continue to deny China access to American technology and ensure a clear separation between the US and Chinese space programs. But Matthew Daniels, a senior fellow at Georgetown University, notes that the division between the US and Chinese space programs is due to US barriers, resulting in almost no direct links between the two countries in space technology research, development and operations. The US is ahead in technologies such as reusable launch systems and satellite manufacturing, but China is narrowing the gap. So cutting the US off from Chinese advancements in technology could come at a cost for the United States and miss an opportunity to reduce the risk of political conflict. So should the US cooperate with China in some areas or continue to freeze it out?

• Further limits on the transfer of space technologies to China could be carried out with still more barriers to US commercial space technology transfers, extra limits on US civil space engagement and coordination, diplomatic pressure on third parties working with both the US and China, and visa restrictions on Chinese aerospace researchers. In the long term, however, it could encourage China to establish a stronger space technology ecosystem of its own. China would then have more of a chance to build alternative international coalitions, including by drawing in Europe and Russia.

• “The current separation will probably continue to slow China in the near term,” says Daniels. “[T]his effect will diminish, however, and it may help grow indigenous supply chains and markets in China.” The US could thereby lose its international leadership in space, while missing a chance to obtain strategic information about China’s space activities and reducing the opportunity to manage crises and conflict.”

 

              Gen. John “Jay” Raymond

When the Chang’e 5 lunar spacecraft lifted off from a launch pad in southern China this week it was not just a signal of China’s ambitions to bring moon samples back to Earth. Half a world away in the United States, the launch was a sign to US Space Force General John Raymond of the threat that China – together with Russia – poses in blocking American access to space.

                      Matthew Daniels

“The two countries seek to stop US access to space, and they are developing capabilities that would negate the US advantage,” he said in an interview published on the US Department of Defence website.

Raymond called for the US to work more closely with allies, to “stay ahead of the growing threat” from China.

It is an approach that would continue to deny China access to American technology and ensure a clear separation between the US and Chinese space programmes.

But some observers say that this could come at a cost for the United States and miss an opportunity to reduce the risk of conflict.
The two space programmes are already “substantially separated”, according to Matthew Daniels, a senior expert for the Office of the US Secretary of Defence and a senior fellow at Georgetown University.

In a report published in October published by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Daniels said the division was due mostly to US barriers, resulting in almost no direct links between the two countries in space technology research, development and operations.

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